Mango Fruit Fly, Ceratitis cosyra

The mango fruit fly, Ceratitis cosyra or marula fly, as it is also known due to its native host plant being marula, the African fruit related to mango.

The mango fruit fly is a serious pest in mango farms across sub-Saharan Africa, where it causes more damage of economic importance than the Mediterranean fruit fly. The fly is a particular pest in smallholder and commercial mango across sub-Saharan Africa, occurring in over 20 countries including Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

Russell IPM provide Ceratitis cosyra pheromone traps for the monitoring and managing of the mango fruit fly pest. Zonatrac is an innovative attract and kill system.


The body and wing colour of the mango fruit fly are yellowish in colour, with the thorax prominently ringed with black spots that are centrally located followed by two larger spots located on the scutellum.

Adult wing length can reach 6mm and each wing contains costal bands and discal bands. The adults are similar in colour and size to the Mediterranean Fruit Fly, Ceratitis capitata, to distinguish between the two, the medfly thorax is much darker and the apex of the scutellum is completely black.

The life stages of Ceratitis cosyra are as follows; the egg period lasts from 2- 3 days, larva begin maturing in approximately 5 days, taking longer in non-favourable conditions. The pupa of C. cosyra can take 9-12 days to begin maturing into an adult which is alive for up to 60 days.

Fruits can become readily infested with females beginning oviposition from 2 weeks and continuing up to 8 weeks, with an average of 50 larvae per fruit.

Nature of Damage


Lures can be changed every 4-6 weeks to get the most accurate results.

Lures Handling

Pheromone lures are a very sensitive tool. They can be affected by exposure to high heat and direct sunlight. Direct contact with the hand may cause cross contamination leading to mixed catches in the trap. Some pollutants such as nicotine may have repellent effect of reducing trap catch.

Lures Storage 

Store the pheromone in a cool, dry place. Service life may vary from 3-36 months depending on the storage temperature. See data sheet for details.

Trap Selection

The FlyCatcher is most sensitive trap to use for monitoring Ceratitis cosyra. This trap and others should be used in conjunction with pheromone lures to increase catch rate and enhance specifity of the trap.

Trap Position

Place Flycatcher within the mango tree, ensuring foliage does not block trap entrance. The trap should be approximately 2 meters high in a south easternly quadrant formation.

Trap Density

Place a minimum of 2 traps per orchard in small holdings or one every hectare in areas up to 20 acres/8 hectares.

Ekesi, S., et al., (2009) Evidence for Competitive Displacement of Ceratitis cosyra by the Invasive Fruit Fly Bactrocera invadens (Diptera: Tephritidae) on Mango and Mechanisms Contributing to the Displacement. Entomological Society of America

Bactrocera invadens invaded Kenya in 2003. Before the arrival of B. invadens, the indigenous fruit fly species Ceratitis cosyra was the predominant fruit fly pest of mango Within 4 years of invasion, B. invadens has displaced C. cosyra and has become the predominant fruit fly pest of mango, constituting 98 and 88% of the total population in traps and mango fruit. Interspecific competition had a significant adverse effect on C. cosyra eclosion, with fewer adults emerging under co-infestation compared with the controls. Interference competition through aggressive behavior showed that fewer C. cosyra landed on the mango dome compared with the controls when adults were mixed with B. invadens adults. Similarly the number of times C. cosyra was observed ovipositing was significantly lower under competitive interaction compared with the controls. Aggressive encounters in the form of lunging/head-butting and chasing off other species from the mango dome was higher for B. invadens compared with C. cosyra. Our results suggest that exploitative competition through larval scrambling for resources and interference competition through aggressive behaviors of the invader are important mechanisms contributing to the displacement of C. cosyra by B. invadens in mango agroecosystems.

Read More

Dimbi, S. et al., (2013) Horizontal Transmission of Metarhizium anisopliae in Fruit Flies and Effect of Fungal Infection on Egg Laying and Fertility Insects 2013, 4(2), 206-216

Fly-to-fly transmission of conidia of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae and the effect of fungal infection on the reproductive potential of females surviving infection were investigated in three fruit fly species, Ceratitis cosyra, C. fasciventris, and C. capitata. The number of conidia picked up by a single fruit fly was determined in C. cosyra. The initial uptake (Day 0) of conidia by a single fly was approx. 1.1 × 106 conidia after exposure to the treated substrate. The number of conidia picked up by a single fungus-treated fly (“donor”) varied between 3.8 × 105 and 1.0 × 106 in the three fruit fly species, resulting in 100% mortality 5–6 days post-exposure. When fungus-free flies of both sexes (“recipient” flies) were allowed to mate with “donor” flies, the number of conidia picked up by a single fly varied between 1.0 × 105 and 2.5 × 105, resulting in a mortality of 83–100% in C. capitata, 72–85% in C. cosyra and 71–93% in C. fasciventris 10–15 days post-inoculation. There was an effect of fungal infection on female egg laying in the three species of fruit flies as control flies laid more eggs than fungus-treated females. The percentage reduction in fecundity in flies infected with M. anisopliae was 82, 73 and 37% in C. capitata, C. fasciventris and C. cosyra, respectively. The results are discussed with regard to application in autodissemination techniques.

Read More

No results found.